Whether it is acknowledged or not, everyone has subjective bias; people are instinctively drawn to people who are like them.34 To combat this bias, an easy strategy is to ensure hiring decisions are made by more than one person, and preferably a diverse group of people. As recent news coverage attests, this summer has had several unfortunate events involving violence and conflict. Hastings, “Why Don’t Our Libraries Mirror the Populations They Serve,” 134–35; Kreitz, “Best Practices,” 102–3. Racial Equity in the Library, Part One: Where to Start? Schadt’s article also quotes Sandra Hughes-Hassell (a school library media professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), who makes the point that library boards (and other library-related organizations) should strive for diverse memberships (e.g. We conclude this article with a series of questions for readers to consider, share, and discuss among colleagues to continue and advance the conversation on diversity in libraries. We strive to implement best practice in the recruitment and development of a diverse workforce that will in turn empower us to deliver fair and equal services to our diverse communities. Todd Honma notes that while many disciplines have struggled with diversity, the library remained fairly oblivious to racial issues in particular.9 The lack of diversity in American libraries and their collections has its roots in the history and development of libraries by whites serving an ethnically white populace and promoting Western European (that is, white) values and ideals. 6/7 (2015), doi:10.1108/LM-12-2014- 0139. The general population of the United States is far more diverse that the library profession. As year-round community organizations with free membership and access to resources, libraries serve crucial roles in community education and dialogue. Partnering with the Library Community. Mentoring of employees and assessment of the library’s policies and practices are also key components of ensuring that a diversity initiative does not fizzle out and provides adequate results. People know and admire the work of the Library staff who work in the community. Bugg, “Perceptions of People of Color,” 435–36. Libraries welcome everyone: Six stories of diversity and inclusion from libraries in England 5 This report presents the results from ‘desk research’ and a call for examples, plus the findings of six case studies, the aim of which was to explore different aspects of Much has been written about how to increase diversity in libraries, including suggestions for improving every step of the process from library and information science education, to hiring and retaining a more diverse workforce, to developing diverse collections and library programs. Learn more », A division of the American Library Association Bugg, “Perceptions of People of Color,” 429; Andrade and Rivera, “Developing a Diversity Competent Workforce,” 709–10. Join us to learn more about the project and to discuss the implications or impacts of this and other types of radical cataloging. Van Duyne and Jacobs (1992) describe the role of an English as a Second Language collection in one public library's efforts to help reduce prejudice. This blindness to racial inequities found in libraries is especially problematic, he argues, given that libraries often promote themselves as “egalitarian institution[s] providing universal access to information for the general public.”10 In order for the library to live up to its aspirational goal, Honma argues that libraries must recognize the reasons racial inequity persists and move beyond perpetuating institutional discrimination.11. Speaking from experience, if you come from a minority it can be extremely easy to work with the diverse population due to the fact that you may have something in common with that group. This lack of diversity has been lamented as a problem for decades, yet in spite of efforts to increase the diversity of the library workforce, there has been minimal progress. 442 Diversity, Social Justice, and the Future of Libraries •Hispanic population is expected to more than double, from 53.3 million in The 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060. Promote inclusive books and those by diverse … The University of Arizona library incorporated the cultural competencies they wished to achieve into job descriptions and hiring criteria. Our staff create an environment that appreciates, acknowledges, encourages and celebrates differences by functioning and communicating effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, orientations, identities and cultural backgrounds. A Muslim woman participating in the Urban Library Program commented that many veiled women approached her to seek help. Publiclibrariesonline.org is the companion website to the bi-monthly print publication “Public Libraries,” the official magazine of the Public Library Association. Libraries are not the only work setting that faces a problem with diversity.8 However, given that the public library is a forum that serves a variety of communities and interests, it is critical to develop a public library workforce that more accurately reflects the diverse backgrounds that public libraries serve. Only 62 percent of the United States population identifies as white, and 12 percent are black, 6 percent are Asian, and 19 percent identify as Hispanic or as more than one race.4 This disconnect between the demographics of librarians and those of the general population results in some stunning contrasts: there is one white librarian for every 1,830 white people in the general population, compared to one Latino librarian for every 9,177 Latinos in the general population.5 The statistics regarding black librarians are also alarming. Customers or Patrons? Todd Honma notes that while many disciplines have struggled with diversity, the She observed that libraries tend to stick with what they have always done, “and it’s not that people are doing it out of malice, but if. Wagner and Willms, “Urban Library Program.”. Getting Paid: How Do Authors Make Money from Library Books? Andrade and Rivera, “Developing a Diversity Competent Workforce,” 701–6. Public libraries, which serve as forums for equal access to information for diverse communities, need to be more active in initiatives to diversify their workforces. Diversity is a fundamental value of the Libraries and is identified among the core values of our strategic plan. While much of the literature focuses on improving diversity in a wider context (such as improving library education, library collections, or other types of libraries, such as academic libraries), many of the lessons provided are applicable to the public library setting. Review ALA’s personal data notification (PDN) before proceeding. Customers or Patrons? Wagner and Willms, “Urban Library Program,” 136–38. The effort, time, and resources required to successfully implement a diversity initiative may seem daunting to most public libraries at first, but the effort is worth the end result of a library that can more effectively serve its patrons and communities. The history of the library in the United States is fraught with sexism, racism, and inequality. They discovered that many libraries had a perception that only individuals who had a college degree or an MLIS degree were capable of working in libraries. The ongoing training was well-received by employees, and provides a vital piece of the University of Arizona library’s overall initiative to create a more inclusive organizational culture.40. Actively promote and display books that are inclusive of a diverse range of characters. Libraries can help eliminate barriers to access by: Providing collections and programs which accurately and authentically reflect the cultural perspectives of diverse communities. How You Look at Your Library's Users Affects Customer Service, Diversity in Public Libraries Strategies for Achieving a More Representative Workforce, Open to Change: Libraries Pivot to Serve Small Businesses. Libraries can be places of comfort and support during sad and challenging times, and serve as powerful forces for change by promoting equity, diversity and inclusion. It also means understanding that recruitment of a talented and diverse workforce is difficult due to low salaries in the field compared to other industries, which are rooted in the historical undervaluing of women’s work. In communities with significant racial, socioeconomic or age-based homogeneity, an appreciation for diversity can be cultivated through the creation of diverse library collections that reflect an array of viewpoints and backgrounds. Resuming the conversation that started at ACRL, we discuss why diversity really matters to academic libraries, librarians, and the profession, and where to go from here. Join a panel discussion exploring inequities in our libraries, the changing demographics in the U.S. and Diversity is beneficial not only because it facilitates a greater ability to understand and provide service to diverse communities of patrons, but because organizations that embrace diversity are ultimately more successful.14 Organizations that rely on individuals who are all the same gender, race, and age, and who think similarly and have similar backgrounds and approaches, are more likely to fall prey to biases, which can diminish the success of the organization.15 Public libraries that wish to succeed in a rapidly changing environment need diversity in the workforce to be a part of their strategies. 50 E Huron Chicago, IL 60611 [3] Although these are three separate incidents, they share some common attributes, including concerns about racial equality, gun violence, gun possession policies, and law enforcement policies. Robin Bradford, a collection development librarian at the Timberland Regional Library in Tumwater, Washington, noted in a recent interview that both she and the director of her library are black, which she described as “unusual,” and noted that she could only recall four other minority librarians working in collection development.22 Bradford further observed that the library eld in general must make a concerted effort to change and embrace diversity. A further option is to host lectures by local university professors in fields such as sociology and other social sciences so that patron communities can explore historical and contemporary issues in group discussions. Libraries Engaging Diverse Populations: Beyond the Multicultural Potluck Are you looking for practical ways to engage diverse populations in meaningful ways? In a recent article on diversity, equality, and equity in public libraries, Erin M. Schadt argues that while libraries are open to the public, not every public library is easily accessible to those reliant on public transportation. Diversity is a term that has become something of an empty buzzword recently, having been used so frequently that it has lost nearly all of its meaning. to review police response to Orlando shooting. Wagner and Willms, “Urban Library Program,” 142. This winter, MIT hosted its annual Institute Diversity Summit. It is plain that achieving diversity is not a simple or instantaneous endeavor. Using thoughtful job postings and hiring criteria that effectively capture traits and behaviors promoting diversity and inclusion will help attract qualified candidates who will contribute to the library’s mission of creating a diverse workforce.35 The University of Arizona sought to recruit and develop a workforce that was not only diverse in its makeup but was composed of individuals who value diversity. If the motivation behind a public library’s diversity initiative takes into account the societal wrongs that a diversity initiative seeks to correct, the likelihood of success is far greater than simply using the word “diversity” as a buzzword and an abstract ideal.31 This also means more than increasing the visible diversity in an organization or relying on quotas.32 Management must set, enforce, promote, and model policies that reinforce inclusion and value diversity at every level of the library organization.33, Hiring practices are absolutely essential when recruiting a diverse workforce. Of nearly 120,000 credentialed librarians, a mere 6,160 are black, and there are only 138 African American library directors in the entire country.6 Despite the fact that African Americans and Latinos are among the biggest supporters of libraries, they are not reflected in the ranks of the workforce.7. Library directors and collection development librarians may also partake in activities such as organizing readings by authors from diverse backgrounds and compiling resource guides that focus on diverse authors and/or subject matter. Some university libraries are taking steps further by creating a diversity space, showcasing exhibits and partnering with other academic and student centered departments to promote diversity and inclusivity. Equality and Diversity We seek to remove barriers to our services, to promote a culture of inclusiveness and to maximise the personal achievement of our users and of our staff. This article contends that it is essential for academic librar-ians to identify and remain mindful of the unique needs of an increasingly diverse student Indeed, solving the issues of discrimination and lack of representation will require changes at all levels of library and information science: library and information science education will need to be improved to better teach diversity and recruit a more diverse faculty and student body; libraries will need to focus on building more diverse collections; and libraries will need to recruit, train, and retain diverse staff. The diversity outreach librarian has provided a forum for the University Libraries to highlight their services to the incoming freshmen participating in this program. We invite you to become a part of PL’s dynamic, high-profile team. Hiring a diverse workforce is certainly a positive step for organizations seeking diversity, but it means very little if the organization is unable to retain those employees. Organisations delivering public services should be familiar with the Equality Act 2010. For these reasons, I believe that equal opportunities begin and grow/thrive with public libraries. Libraries Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Commitment Statement (full statement) Library Faculty Organization (LFO) Resolution on Anti-racism Penn State University Libraries holds a unique position in the Penn State community, residing at the nexus of intellectual discovery, teaching and learning, and research. Librarianship recognizes the value of a diverse workforce in achieving this vision. ALA’s policy manual also includes a section on diversity, which offers general goals supporting diverse workforces and collections.17 Library and information science publications have also embraced the call for diversity and proffered solutions to solve the lack of diversity. Diversity benefits everyone, particularly in a public library setting where individuals from all walks of life can gather to gain information and meet as a community. ALA first established minority caucuses in the 1970s, and diversity was officially included as a Key Action Area starting in 1998.16 Today, ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services promotes diversity through educational initiatives, training, and support for library professionals. Cultural Programming to Promote Diversity Diversity Research & Statistics Diversity in the Workplace EDI in Our Libraries Hateful Conduct in Libraries: Supporting Library Workers and Patrons Intersections: ODLOS Blog Libraries Respond Libraries Respond Hastings, “Why Don’t Our Libraries Mirror the Populations They Serve,” 134. Diversity initiatives are not a new phenomenon for libraries. According to the most recent data published by the American Library Association (ALA), 87.1 percent of librarians identify as white and 81.0 percent identify as female.2 The populations being served by public libraries are steadily becoming more and more diverse, but the library workforce remains predominantly white and female and bears little relationship to the populations served. age, religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, professional expertise) so that multiple points of view and … Denice Adkins, Christina Virden, and CharlesYier, “Learning about Diversity: The Roles of LIS Education, LIS Associations, and Lived Experience,”. [7] These statistics are important because a job is usually necessary to purchase and maintain a car, and vice versa, suggesting that it is prudent for communities to focus on cost-effective ways to improve public transportation, increase library accessibility, and expand job-finding and -creation programs. Tags: ALA Office for Diversity Literacy and Outreach Services, diversifying the library workforce, diversity, public libraries and diversity. age, religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, professional expertise) so that multiple points of view and community concerns are expressed and ultimately reflected in administrative decisions. Andrade and Rivera, “Developing a Diversity Competent Workforce,” 708–9. However, public libraries have a long way to go when it comes to achieving diversity in the workforce. you get what you’ve always gotten.”23 Even with a concerted effort, individuals still fall prey to the “like me” bias and are inexorably drawn to others who are similar to them- selves in some way.24 Many in the field are also not comfortable addressing issues involving racial inequity and find that “organizational inertia” persists.25 Many professionals also do not acknowledge a lack of diversity as a pressing issue. No problem. Little Free Library book boxes have always been great community resources, especially in areas where traveling to a brick and mortar library might be difficult. Redefining Diversity: Creating an Inclusive Academic Library through Diversity Initiatives Anne T. Switzer ABSTRACT. Review ALA’s personal data notification (PDN) before proceeding. The University Libraries have prominently displayed a definition of diversity on its Diversity Committee’s webpage for many years and has used it as a guiding statement for the Libraries’ activities. At many of her stops, she says, she’s encountered both a lack of diversity and an abundance of microaggressions. Many MIT departments, including the Libraries, are following MIT’s efforts and addressing these important issues on a local level. Libraries are dedicated to the principles and practices of social justice, diversity, and equality among our staff, collections, and services. According to ALA, a mere 4.3 percent of librarians are black, 3.5 percent are Asian, and 3.7 percent identify as “other.”3 While ALA has not maintained statistics designating the racial background of public librarians since 1998, it can be assumed that these statistics about general librarianship do reflect the trends in public libraries as well. Ensure that the library stocks a range of inclusive books as part of the main book collection and that these are given equal status. . Mentoring and professional development opportunities are essential in order to keep minority employees employed within a particular organization.41 Empowering minority employees to take control of their careers is also an important factor in enabling those employees to advance through an organization’s ranks.42 It is important for managers to recognize that there are still many barriers to advancement faced by minority librarians.43 Many minority employees and employees belonging to disadvantaged groups do not have access to the same types of mentoring and support networks as their white, middle-class peers who currently dominate the library workforce.44 ALA’s policy manual offers suggestions for preparing diverse individuals for advancement and management opportunities, and indicates the importance of providing mentoring opportunities and training within the library organization itself. Advice on developing collections for diverse user groups appears in the public and school library literature. Honma, “Trippin’ over the Color Line,”10. Rural Libraries Push WiFi Into Community Spaces, Community Centered: 23 Reasons Why Your Library Is the Most Important Place in Town, Ten Essential Qualities for Success: A New Cataloging Librarian's Guide from a Supervisor's Perspective. Libraries are certainly not the only organizations facing the challenges of inequity, and this societal problem is not one that can be solved by libraries alone. The literature on this subject has pointed out time and time again that merely seeking diversity for the sake of diversity is not enough, and numerical representation does little to effect real change within an organization.20 Unfortunately, it is extremely challenging to change the attitudes of individuals, let alone an entire public library’s culture. While debate continues over what are truly the best practices to achieve diversity and equality, what is clear is that staff of all levels in the library have a part to play. The U.S. population is steadily becoming more diverse, and public libraries cannot hope to adequately serve minority patrons without members of those minority groups among library staff. It is only through this process of “diversifying diversity” will we truly meet the needs of all students. Wagner and Willms evaluated the Urban Library Program, a joint effort of St. Catherine University and the St. Paul Public Library to recruit, educate, hire, and retain a diverse paraprofessional workforce. How You Look at Your Library's Users Affects Customer Service, Open to Change: Libraries Pivot to Serve Small Businesses, American Library Association (ALA) Office for Research & Statistics, “, Anjali Gulati, “Diversity in Librarianship: The United States Perspective,”, Paul T. Jaeger, Lindsay C. Sarin, and Kaitlin J. Peterson, “Diversity, Inclusion, and Library and Information Science: An Ongoing Imperative (or Why We Still Desperately Need to Have Discussions about Diversity and Inclusion),”, Ricardo Andrade and Alexandra Rivera, “Developing a Diversity- Competent Workforce: The UA Libraries’ Experience,”, Patricia A. Kreitz, “Best Practices for Managing Organizational Diversity,”, Samantha Kelly Hastings, “If Diversity Is a Natural State, Why Don’t Our Libraries Mirror the Populations They Serve?,”, Honma, “Trippin’ over the Color Line,” 13; see also Kreitz, “Best Practices.”, Kimberly Bugg, “The Perceptions of People of Color in Academic Libraries Concerning the Relationship between Retention and Advancement of Middle Managers,”, Mary M. Wagner and Debbie Willms, “The Urban Library Program: Challenges to Educating and Hiring a Diverse Workforce,”. Employees who do not feel supported and valued will not remain with an organization or even in the profession for long. While not exhaustive, we intend this guide to be a starting point for further inquiry. The theme was “Advancing a Respectful and Caring Community,” and included workshops and thought-provoking discussions. Diversity, a core value, and Inclusion, a foundational commitment, are two of these directives. Schadt’s article also quotes Sandra Hughes-Hassell (a school library media professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), who makes the point that library boards (and other library-related organizations) should strive for diverse memberships (e.g. Promoting library services through communication channels and community events organized by people of color and intersectionalities. 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